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Spybot - Search & Destroy

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Application to scan for spyware, adware, hijackers and other malicious software.

License: FreewarePublisher: Safer Networking Ltd.

OS: Windows 7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, 2008, 98, Me, NT

Update: 2013-08-01 04:43:06Latest Version: 2.1.21-SR2

SpyBot Search & Destroy - Safe & Efficient Spyware Detection & Elimination

SpyBot Search & Destroy is an efficient tool in the fight for defending our privacy against all types of spyware, including adware, trojans, keyloggers, trackers and similar infections which are created by some unscrupulous people and which in most cases, they just hurt PCs performance by reducing network bandwidth, cluttering our hard disks with trash, or leaving us without an Internet connection if they are incorrectly uninstalled.

SpyBot Search & Destroy detects and removes a comprehensive list of different forms of spyware which in most cases is not considered as a virus, however, this kind of malware can be even more devastating if we compare with some regular viruses. Today we are going to go though its main features and novelties of its newest version.

Specialized PC Cleaning
In the case of spyware, most of antivirus programs contain a function that goes in this direction. However, most of them work as a complement, not being able to detect, much less eliminate most of this type of malware. In that sense, SpyBot is a different tool, and the difference lies in the fact that this type of malware is not directly involved in activities devoted to the destruction of the system, or to attack the security of Windows, but to send private information about users to any location in order to seize benefits for some individuals. There is some kind of spyware which purpose is to find security codes or detailed and precise information, and others which simply track what a user does in his/her PC (usually used for marketing).

Deep System Scanning
SpyBot is capable of detecting the presence of such items, as it performs detailed analysis of the system, taking account that cookies are installed from some websites, ActiveX objects are loaded in Internet Explorer, and dangerous or invalid entries added to Windows Registry. A complete system scan is the recommended action after you install SpyBot for the first time, and as a novelty for this version it takes considerably shorter to perform it.

The results are showed in an easy to read window where threats are arranged in a tree structure showing information concerning each item when available. Cleaning is also very simple just select the items to be deleted and click the “Fix selected problems” button.

The program can easily take charge of their disposal, with no significant component of the system being affected, ensuring the stability of it. Moreover, there are programs that might stop working if they do not record the existence of a specific spyware, so Spybot will provide certain imitations so that the user can continue using them.

More Effective than Elimination: Prevention
Although this kind of malicious code can be eliminated, there remains the risk of being re-installed: the reason is that the same threat may be downloaded from some websites that you often visit. So when a type of spyware is well known, SpyBot can create a sort of immunization against it, disabling it to be reinstalled in the system and keeping all connections and data exchange secure. SpyBot can perform immunization with a single click.

After a short process, our PC is fully immunized against known spyware which is shown in a detailed list.

Another interesting prevention tool is the TeaTimer module. This module is loaded into the computer giving a real-time protection against various modifications that can be performed in the system, as an unexpected editing of the Windows Registry or modifying a home page in the web browsers, typical behavior of the average spyware. It can be activated or deactivated in Tools > Resident.

Updates & Backups
One of the most interesting advantages about SpyBot is the fact that it can be updated, which saves a lot of time from avoiding the program download each time a new version comes out, there are several methods for doing this, you will find the in the Advance mode under the Settings, you can see all of them in the next screenshot.

Updating is very simple and only implies clicking the update button in the Default mode.

Backups are performed whenever you delete an infected file, as deletion can create confusion in the system that can result in some processes not working correctly. That's why before the deletion of a file that could compromise the integrity of the system, the application performs a backup. This is essential when you change Windows Registry settings, but it is not the only case.

It's All About Details
In addition, there are a number of customizable skins available for the application made by developers and users.

SpyBot also integrates with Windows Explorer menus to give quick accesses to scanning selected files, folders or devices.

Recent changes in SpyBot Search & Destroy: Now it brings support for the new version of Opera and Google Chrome, supports fast user switching and it also brings some corrections for bugs present in previous versions.

Final Words
Now we have a clearer idea of why SpyBot S&D is one of the most popular PC programs developed  for cleaning the system of spyware, adware, and other types of malware, and as you can see this does not happens by chance. It is widely used throughout the world and it is due to its ease of use and because it is capable of detecting a wide range of malicious code, which places it among the most efficient of its kind.

Give SpyBot S&D a try and tell us what you think.

Author: Lucas Artigas Review on: Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.6.2

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